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Basic Slingshot 

Make] Projects 

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build, hack, tweak, share, discover,- 

Basic Slingshot 

Written By: GeverTulley 


Forked stick (1) 

Rubber bands (1) 

Scraps of leather or cloth (1) 

Pebbles, peas, or flower buds (1) 

Clear area (1) 

without people, pets, or things that might get damaged 


A slingshot master can hit a soda can from 20 paces. Can you? 

© Make Projects 

Page 1 of 4 

Basic Slingshot 

Step 1 — Basic Slingshot 

■ Make elastic bands. 

• To begin, tie 2 rubber bands 
together to make a long band. 
Repeat. If you find you want 
more power later, you can 
double up the rubber bands. 

■ Make a pocket. 

• Cut a small rectangle out of a 
scrap of leather or sturdy cloth. 
You can either tie the rubber 
bands to the pocket, or cut 2 
small holes and loop the bands 

■ Assemble. 

• Tie the rubber bands to the ends 
of a forked stick. If the bands 
slip off, try lashing them in place 
with a bit of string. 

© Make Projects 

Page 2 of 4 

Basic Slingshot 

Step 2 





■ Aim. 

• Place a pebble in the pocket and 
trap it by pinching the pocket 
with thumb and forefinger. Hold 
the handle steady at arm's 
length. Keep a light, but firm, 
grip on the pocket and pull back. 

• Slingshots aren't inherently 
very dangerous, but 
releasing projectiles can be. 
Always know where you are 
pointing your slingshot and NEVER 
aim in the direction of a person or 
pet. You are responsible for every 
projectile you release. 

• Fire. 

* Release the pocket! 

• Slingshot masters say that the key 
to aiming is to hold the pocket 
steady and move the forked stick 
around to line up your shot. 
Aluminum cans make good targets: 
set 'em up and knock 'em down. 

• Accuracy comes from repetition. 
Gather a pile of pebbles and spend 
a few minutes every day aiming at 
a variety of targets. A slingshot 
master can hit a soda can from 20 


© Make Projects 

Page 3 of 4 

Basic Slingshot 

The slingshot is a fairly modern invention, as these things go. It requires long, thin strips of stretchy rubber — a material 
produced first in the late 1800s and not widely available until the early 1900s. The idea is really an update of the ancient 
sling (a leather pocket tied to 2 leather strips), the weapon purportedly used by David to bring down Goliath. Rubber got its 
name from Joseph Priestley (inventor of soda water), who noticed that blobs of it were good for rubbing pencil marks off 
paper. If there was no air resistance to contend with, a pebble fired from a slingshot would travel in what is referred to as a 
ballistic trajectory. From the moment the pebble leaves the pocket of the slingshot, gravity bends its path down towards 
Earth. Put the air back into the equation and the path gets even shorter. Without air resistance, your pebble would travel 
almost twice as far. 

Excerpted from Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) by Gever Tulley with 
Julie Spiegler ( http://fiftydangerousthings.coin ). 

This project first appeared in MAKE: Volume 28 . page 156. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-30 06:37:31 PM. 

© Make Projects Page 4 of 4